When you think about Liberty Walk’s bold move of chopping up a Ferrari F40 for the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon, it’s hard to think of something that could possibly top that. But Liberty Walk could. Not only did they come up with a new blue look for their F40, Liberty Walk also revealed the much awaited Liberty Walk Lamborghini Countach. Yet as impressive as it was, the Countach wasn’t the real star of this year’s show. To everyone’s surprise, Liberty Walk had not one, but two reveals.
They also know how to launch their new widebody kits into the tuning world. Creating something shocking is one thing, but making each launch a memorable experience has also been one of their keys to success. We made sure to secure our front row spot to not miss a single second of the Liberty Walk show. Later on, we came back to take a closer look at the newly revealed Liberty Walk cars and even caught Liberty Walk founder Wataru Kato, who let us in on what to expect from the even greater things we can expect from widebody kit maker.
Launching The Liberty Walk Lamborghini Countach
“Walk as you are! Walk the way you think! You can fall down many times, you’ll always know how to get back up! Liberty Walk, Liberty Walk!” The Liberty Walk theme song (yes, it’s a real thing) started playing as the countdown to the Countach reveal began. The song, which reflected the Liberty Walk philosophy about the freedom of walking your own path, pumped up the excitement among the crowd.
Kato-san finally appeared on the Liberty Walk floor with his usual beaming smile, waving a massive Japanese flag. “Japan has been a little quiet lately,” he said, “but we’re here to change that!” Kato-san did not stop there in his speech, addressing right away what everyone had been thinking over the past year since the launch of the Liberty Walk F40. “I’ve been hearing that I might have gotten blacklisted by Ferrari,” Kato-san told the crowd with a big smile, “But who cares about such small things!” As usual, Kato-san’s positive attitude radiated to the crowd.
“I’ve been hearing that I might have gotten blacklisted by Ferrari,” Kato-san told the crowd with a big smile, “But who cares about such small things!”
Before lifting the covers on the Countach, Kato-san admitted to the public that he fancied the new Liberty Walk Countach over the previous year’s Ferrari F40, as the team had done so much more to it. As he wrapped up his speech, the Liberty Walk Girls came to the stage and unveiled the new creation. It was no surprise, as the render of the Countach had previously been released by the bodykit maker. The car was nonetheless impactful; visually much more so than last year’s creation.
What stood out the most on the Liberty Walk Countach was the size of the front bumper extension, which made the car shockingly longer at the front. The Countach originally had pronounced fenders, but as it goes for Liberty Walk, they cut all four fenders off and recorded it into a video available on Instagram (warning, cutting Countach fenders is quite the sensitive content). The fenders were replaced with the typical Liberty Walk style fenders, wide and bolted to the body. The car, which was originally red, was repainted white, matching the style of the previously white F40 creation. The most impressive detail was found at the back, with a rear wing completely detached from the body and attached to the massive rear diffuser.
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A Surprise Reveal: The Mini Liberty Walk F40
The 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon doors opened at 9:00 AM sharp on the first day and the Liberty Walk booth was naturally our first stop. To our surprise and to everybody else’s, the bodykit maker had two cars covered up at their booth. The central car on stage was easily recognizable as the Countach. However, the second car clearly had stanchions holding up the covers, making it impossible to guess what it hid underneath.
Consequently, the public’s attention went straight to the second mystery car after the Countach reveal. Onto the second part of the show, Kato-san told the audience that the Countach wasn’t much at all in comparison to what we were about to see. “I bought the car for about ¥700,000 (approx. $5,000) and found it on Yahoo Auctions!” Kato-san casually said to the audience.
As for the reveal itself, Kato-san hinted at a special performance: “We practiced for three hours the night before!” He rushed to the back of the stage and came back out leading a small army of Liberty Walk kids, dressed in matching mechanics’ overalls. Kato-san set the marching beat with the help of a whistle, and the kids came onto the stage driving a tiny F40 toy car.
Kato-san’s message to the audience was simple. The car they were about to reveal was to show that Liberty Walk creations were also for the kids, to give them something to be happy about and to inspire them for the future. To Kato-san’s signal, the little Liberty Walk army lifted off the covers, revealing a miniature, kei car-sized version of the Liberty Walk Ferrari F40.
Using a 1993 Autozam AZ1 as a base, this mini Liberty Walk F40 displayed a surprisingly accurate F40 face with authentic-looking, 1:1 sized F40 headlights. All vents, air ducts, grilles, fenders, and even the triple exhaust pipes were accurately based on their 2023 F40. The back of the AZ1 is where the kei car’s small proportions truly show. With a narrow silhouette, the four 1:1 sized tail lights occupied all the space surrounding the number plate holder. The best part about this miniature F40? It comes with the AZ1’s gullwing doors. The “AZ1-LB40” turned out to be such a hit that it already found an owner for an undisclosed price.
Talking To Liberty Walk Founder Kato-San About His New And Future Creations
Despite the yearly madness that is the Tokyo Auto Salon, Kato-san is someone who takes his time to greet every single person who comes his way for a picture or an autograph. Kato-san also took a moment to chat with us in between his busy schedule.
We first asked him about Liberty Walk’s choice of revealing a Lamborghini Countach for 2024. “More than choosing the Countach, it was first and foremost about choosing an impactful car,” replied Kato-san. “Hence the Countach.” “There are still plenty of impactful cars out there, but we went with the Countach for this year.” To our surprise, he added: “This wasn’t impressive at all. There are much better things coming, so please stay tuned! It’s a step-by-step process.”
I have plenty of ideas…because I’m an alien!
While many of us would struggle to come up with something to top the F40, Kato-san and his team seemed to have no issues coming up with better ideas. “I have plenty of ideas,” confirmed Kato-san. “Because I’m an alien!” he jokingly added. This never-ending flow of ideas makes Liberty Walk’s strength, and they’ve proven themselves again with the reveal of a miniature F40. Who knows, we would not rule out a miniature or toy version of the Countach in the future.
We also asked about the challenges he and his team might have encountered during the process of bringing the Countach to life. Kato-san told us that his team was constantly facing challenges, but the unity behind the Liberty Walk brand is what helped him and his team overcome them. Kato-san explained to us that, more than chasing profits, Liberty Walk was about making everyone young or old feel involved.
“We owe it to everyone who supports us. It’s thanks to them that we can bring such cars to life,” Kato-san told us. “I’ll build anything. In the end, I’ll even build a plane, and perhaps even a spaceship!” he said laughing, pointing at the plane decoration hanging above our heads. “Oops, I think I might have leaked next year’s plans!” said Kato-san and we all burst into laughter. But who knows what can happen with Liberty Walk!
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